HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA — Deaf Border Collie, Seven, who was surrendered to the Nova Scotia SPCA after her owners deemed her ‘untrainable,’ has proven everyone wrong by winning an agility title. After being surrendered at just 3-months-old, the now 9-year-old dog was adopted by Adina MacRae, who took the pup under her wing and became determined to prove that Seven can do anything a dog with hearing can do and more. The duo began a seven-year journey to claim the Agility Trial Champion of Canada title.
After years of successfully completing the starter, advanced and masters level of competitive agility, Seven had a shot at the most important title with the guidance of her owner and trainer MacRae. Despite being unable to hear anything, the dog completed the final course with precision and took home the Agility Trial Champion of Canada title. While there have been a few other deaf dogs who have achieved this, Seven is the first dog from Nova Scotia to claim the title.
During the competition the dogs handler has to direct their canine through an obstacle course, which includes jumps, tunnels, weaving through poles and a teeter-totter. In order to win, the dog must complete the course with great speed and accuracy. On the training process, MacRae reveals that once she figured out that Seven was motivated by food it was much easier to train her with hand signals. She also adds that dogs predominately communicate through body language, which in fact made it easier to train Seven. The duo plan on retiring after this win but MacRae stresses it was important for Seven to win “to prove that deaf dogs can do it.” She hopes Seven’s story will inspire others to adopt rescue dogs.
READ MORE: DEAF PUPPY LEARNS SIGN LANGUAGE